In looking over some of the upcoming films for these days of cooler weather suitable for sweaters, a few female friendly flicks stood strong to me. To begin with, we have Emily Blunt headlining as The Girl On The Train, based upon the gripping bestseller by Paula Hawkins.
She plays Rachel, a woman turning to drink upon the break-up of her marriage who consoles herself by fantasizing about a young married couple she views during her daily commute. When the wife of that particular couple disappears, Rachel grows quickly concerned and wants to get involved with the case.
She did see something unusual just before that woman went missing but due to her blackout periods while drinking(along with harassing her ex-husband and his new wife Anna), Rachel is seen as an unreliable witness at best. But, is she,really?
I just finished reading the book this weekend and it was a truly riveting read, though not quite as much depth as Gone Girl,in my opinion(which is has been compared to). The movie has changed it's setting from the outskirts of London to New York but I don't believe that will effect the basic story at all.
The story was greatly compelling and Emily Blunt seems tailor made for the lead here. Should be a smartly sinister thrill ride for audiences and readers alike, I would imagine:
Meanwhile, we have the third Bridget Jones movie which,unlike the prior two, is not based upon the novels of Helen Fielding.
Since the third book in that series knocked off Mark Darcy(much to the dismay of the fans), many might find Bridget Jones' Baby a welcome delight, as Colin Firth and Renee Zellweger reprise their romcom roles.
Here, Bridget is once again caught between two lovers as her former flame Darcy and new romance Jack Qwant(Patrick Dempsey) are not only in pursuit of her affections but to take the role as father of her upcoming child.
The movie looks cute yet it does feel a bit like a little too late for another. As much as I adored the first BJD book and film, both the literary and cinematic follow-up left me with a so-so feeling. Didn't bother with the third book but the movie might be a nice sweet treat to savor nonetheless:
Next up, Queen of Katwe is based upon a true story(chronicled by a nonfiction book written by Tim Crothers) starring Lupita Nyong'o as the mother of Phiona Mutesi (Madina Nalwanga), a chess prodigy from Uganda who went on to become a Woman Candidate Master in 2012.
David Oyelowo also stars as Phiona's mentor and director Mira Nair,best known for Monsoon Wedding and the 2004 adaptation of Vanity Fair, was passionate enough about the project to recruit her own screenwriter to travel to the city of Kampala to interview potential actors.
With most chess related movies being focused on Bobby Fischer types, it's great to see a young female champion in the spotlight for once and I hope this movie is remembered during Oscar time:
Armed with fashionista flair and her trusty sewing machine, Tilly takes on the townsfolk who are still spreading rumors about her possible involvement with a local man's death. Despite the naysayers, Tilly uses her skills to not only change a few lives for the better but find true love as well.
This film won several honors at Australia's equivalent of the Oscars, the AACTA awards, last year, including Best Lead Actress for Winslet and naturally, Best Costume Design. It'll be fun to see if the Academy Awards follow suit with this stylish tale of empowerment:
No doubt, there are several other leading lady films that I missed but it's grand to see more of them at any time of year. I only wish that an interesting movie like Hidden Figures wasn't being hidden until the end of the year.
Based on the true story of the women scientists and mathematician whose calculations helped John Glenn to become the first US astronaut to fully orbit the earth, the film stars Octavia Spencer, Taraji P. Henson and Janelle Mona'e as the unsung heroines.
Hidden Figures is getting a limited Christmas Day release but going to wider distribution in January of 2017. While I appreciate the studio strategy in placing this film directly in the midst of award nomination season, most audiences won't get to see this in theaters until the doldrums of winter and that can be a disservice to this story. Regardless, Hidden Figures sounds like a wonderful step forward for female driven films as we look ahead to a more hopeful film future: